News In Brief


It's probably just as well that Khoo Swee Chiow is patient. That quality served the Singaporean mountain climber well last month when he finished his six-year quest to scale the highest peak on every continent. Antarctica's Vinson Massif was saved for last. But as Khoo returned to base camp, his radio broke and he couldn't contact the region's only private flight operator for a pickup. Four days later, he did reach the service, only to learn he'd have to wait another week and a half. Its planes were fully booked - by tourists wanting to check out a penguin colony.

Fuel efficiency: no longer important to US car buyers?

With Americans fascinated by SUVs, minivans, and pickups, overall US fuel economy is at a 20-year low of 24 miles per gallon, according to the Environmental Protection Agency. These "light trucks" account for 46 percent of passenger-vehicle sales, to about 2 percent for super-fuel-efficient small cars, the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers says. Meanwhile, as automakers work toward the goal of a prototype family sedan that yields 80 miles to the gallon by 2004, here is an EPA list of the most and least fuel-efficient 2000 model cars and the miles per gallon for each in road tests:

Most fuel-efficient

1. Honda Insight 76.3

2. Honda Civic HX 43.5

3. Toyota Echo 42.1

4. GM Imports Metro 41.1

5. Suzuki Swift 40.1

Least fuel-efficient

1. Ferrari 550 Maranello 11.7

2. Ferrari 456 MGT-MGTA 13.4

3. Ferrari 360 Modena-Spider 14.9

(tie) Rolls-Royce Bentley Azure 14.9

(tie) Rolls-Royce Bentley Continental SC 14.9

- Associated Press

(c) Copyright 2000. The Christian Science Publishing Society

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